Investigations on aerosol emissions of pyrotechnic smoke generators

Jörg Dengel, Christian Lohrer, Felix Stein, and John Perriam

Abstract: Pyrotechnic smoke generators fall under the Directive 2013/29/EU in Europe and could potentially belong to all categories except consumer fireworks. These types are especially present in the field of “Other Pyrotechnic Articles” of the categories P1 and P2, e.g. as simulation devices for paintball or airsoft gaming. The specific users of these products are aware of the corresponding smoke liberation during use and usually wear protective equipment to minimize exposure to potentially harmful aerosols. However, such products are often misused against the labelling requirements in locations where these articles are not supposed to be used, like football stadiums and demonstrations. In contrast to the intended use, uninvolved third parties are likely exposed to these reaction products without proper protective equipment. This study aims at identifying the transient particle size range of the aerosols emitted during the functioning of such common smoke generators for simulation purposes. In total four different types of articles were investigated, with five colors per type (white, blue, green, red, orange). Results show that the majority of the particles were emitted in a range between 40 nm and 350 nm, with some variation depending on the smoke color. Particles with diameters of less than 100 nm are generally of specific concern, as they can penetrate the alveolar system of the human lungs and therefore present a specific hazard.


Ref: JPyro, Issue 35, 2016, pp3-8 (J35-3)

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